I had never considered classifying motor cars into movements or periods as you would with works of art until I visited the Malaga Museum of Automobiles. There you will see vehicles with the fashions associated with the time and their role in the lives of those that owned them.
We start in the Belle Epoque, the late 19th century to 1914 when vehicles were little more than developed horse-drawn carriages. After the war, we have the Golden Years, the 20’s. The euphoria caused by the end of the war created a liberalisation of fashion, clothes and vehicles and the emancipation of women who influenced the design of the car during this period.
Then came the Popular Cars, those driven by the doctors, vets and priests. Cheaper to build and cheaper to run, they reflected the harder financial climate of the ’30s. Simultaneously and surprisingly from the same period are the Art Deco automobiles from the Golden Age. They reached levels of quality never before experienced. It is during this period that Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Packard, Delage and Lancia emerged as the manufacturers producing the most innovative, creative and above all luxurious designs.
The Avant Garde period saw aesthetically advanced models created to impress and surprise society, in clothing and on the road. The ’50s ushered in the Dolce Vita decade. Sports cars were in. The Maserati, Porsche, Aston Martin and Jaguar came to the fore for those that could afford them.
The museum also has vehicles representing the Hollywood celebrity cars, all designed to impress by their elegance and outrageousness. Here you will see Elvis Presley’s “Eldorado" (1959) with its fins, wrap around windscreen and chrome. A car that became the symbol of the ‘American Dream’.
Looking to the future, the museum has three experimental cars that run on solar power, hydrogen and compressed air and compares them with early 20th century models that ran on alternative fuels, electricity and steam.
The museum has a collection of almost 100 cars together with 200 Haute Couture fashion exhibits that together offer an insight into the world of the motorist from the earliest days into the future.